There’s three weeks gone in this year’s legislative session and the deadline to submit legislation comes this coming Thursday (2/2) so we’ll see what will join the 58-pieces of legislation currently being tracked on ASBSD’s Billtracker.
More than half of the 58 legislative proposals have ASBSD taking a position of support or oppose on them – 16 oppose and 14 support – and 28 being monitored. With only one piece of legislation having been defeated, there’s A LOT to acted on in the next few weeks and the list will undoubtedly get bigger.
Here is a breakdown of key bills ASBSD is tracking so far, with the blue text being links to additional webpages with more information.
- House Bill 1070: Appropriates funding to Black Hills State University to develop K-12 civics & social studies curriculum and professional development. ASBSD is opposing the bill, which was referred to House Appropriations on a 9-6 vote by House Ed. ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany testified, “Is our curriculum broken? I don’t think so. We need to make sure that school districts have the right to choose” curriculum in his opposition to the bill and was joined by many fellow education associations. Their opposition was met with Rep. Scott Odenbach, the bill’s prime sponsor, saying “the parade of horribles” emerge against these types of proposals and the legislature needed to “reassert our ability” to implement a program like this. Rep. Odenbach noted he has discussed the proposal with Governor’s office in years past, but Brandy Miesner of the S.D. Bureau of Finance & Management testified in opposition of the bill saying it’s “unclear at this time what kind of ongoing funding would needed” to support it.
- House Bill 1163: Prohibits the dissemination of obscene material to minors in a public school library. Freshly introduced, ASBSD is opposing the bill, which has been assigned to the House Education committee, but does not have a hearing date set.
- Senate Bill 59: Appropriates funding for CTE program grants. ASBSD supports the bill, which was referred to the Joint Appropriations committee from the Senate Education committee on a 7-0 vote, with an emergency clause that would allow funds to be distributed before the end of the fiscal year. Pogany said the bill was about “expanding opportunities” to students and districts and a great idea as CTE “leads to higher graduation rates.”
- Senate Bill 96: Establishes a recall process for school board members. ASBSD is opposing the bill, which has been assigned to the Senate Education committee and is scheduled for bill hearing on Tuesday, January 31.
- Senate Bill 100: Creates a scholarship program utilizing public funds for private education and other services. ASBSD is opposing the bill, which has been assigned to the Senate Education committee, but does not have a hearing date set. Read more about the bill here.
Juvenile Justice & Mental Health Services Bills:
- HB 1044: Establishes a scholarship program for students pursuing careers in a behavioral health field and appropriates funding for the scholarship. ASBSD is supporting the bill, which had an initial bill hearing on Thursday (1/26) with House Health & Human Services and will be continued this week.
- HB 1079: Appropriates $4 million to DOH for grants to support mental health services for youth and young adults. ASBSD is supporting the bill, which was referred to the Joint Appropriations committee from House Health & Human Services on a 13-0 vote. Taylor Rehfeldt, the bill’s prime sponsor, said the state “absolutely can and absolutely should be doing more” in this area and that’s what the bill aimed to do.
- HCR 6002: Proposes the study of childhood mental health and available childhood mental health services. ASBSD is monitoring the resolution, which passed the House Health & Human Services Committee on a 13-0 vote and the House of Reps on a 69-0 vote. Rep. Rehfeld said the resolution “recognizes childhood mental health needs are important.” It has been assigned to the Senate Health & Human Services committee.
- Senate Bill 3: Requires law enforcement to report juvenile offenses to school officials. ASBSD is monitoring the bill, which passed the Senate Education committee on a 4-2 vote to the Senate floor. Read more about the bill here.
- Senate Bill 4: Modifies a court’s authority to commit a habitual juvenile offender to the Department of Corrections. ASBSD supports the bill, which was amended and had its bill hearing continued in Senate Judiciary. Read more about the bill here.
- House Bill 1043: Exempts $100,000 from owner-occupied property tax. ASBSD opposes the bill, which will have a bill hearing on Tuesday (1/31) in the House Taxation committee.
- House Bill 1075: Repeals sales tax on groceries. ASBSD opposes the bill, which was referred on a 12-1 vote by House Taxation committee to the House Appropriations committee. Read more about the bill here.
- House Bills 1095 and 1096: Both propose lowering the sales tax on groceries to 3.5 percent and 2.5 percent respectively. ASBSD is opposing both bills, which each have been assigned to the House Taxation committee.
- House Bill 1137: Repeals the Partridge Amendment and lowers certain gross receipts tax rates. ASBSD opposes the bill, which will have a bill hearing on Tuesday (1/31) in the House Taxation committee.
The Billtracker page will be updated almost daily, so be sure to check it throughout the week to stay up-to-date with legislative session and legislation effecting public education.